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Sunday, January 29, 2023

After Ragnarok, God Of War Should Explore Ancient Egypt

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God of War Ragnarok is set to be the final game in God of War’s Norse saga. In a world full of trilogies and drawn out franchises, it’s refreshing to see the series admit that ‘two and done’ is the perfect way to tell this story. This iteration of Kratos is popular enough to have been milked for a lot longer, but it’s satisfying to see Santa Monica know when to quit. Clearly though, this is not the last we’re going to see of Kratos, so the question emerges – where does God of War go next? The events of Ragnarok may end up shaping that decision, but right now, Egyptian gods seem like the most obvious answer.

There are other interesting deities Kratos could dabble with instead. Japanese gods are fascinating and could open the way to a more horror infused experience, as could African gods – the next Pokemon game should be set in Africa, by the way. I know Egyptian gods are African gods because, you know, Egypt is in Africa, but by African gods I mean Anansi, the spider, or Mbombo, who vomited up the moon and the sun when he had a stomach ache. There are fascinating, lesser known gods around the globe – it might be interesting to see Santa Monica tackle those, but after going for Greek gods and Norse gods, the Egyptian saga feels like the natural next step.

So natural, in fact, that it was almost the first step. Way back when the 2018 game was still in development, more of the devs wanted to focus on an Egyptian saga rather than a Norse one – it offered a bigger contrast to the Greek gods, as well as being less tied to the MCU interpretations of Odin, Thor and Loki. However, as development went on, the Norse saga won out, with the team eventually deciding it was better suited to the new direction for Kratos himself.

The cover art for God of War with Kratos and Atreus

Still, that means there is clearly a lot of love for Egyptian mythology on the Santa Monica team. Added to that, Kratos met some Ancient Egyptian gods in the official God of War comics earlier this year, so that affection from the team has clearly not faded, despite the success of the Norse saga.

Right now, it’s fair to say the Egyptian gods are clearly in the lead when it comes to the race to be Kratos’ next punching bag. Other stories would be fascinating, and if we get a trailer in two years time that points to a group of Uruguayan gods I’ve never heard of, I’m not going to start crying that there’s no Anubis. Kratos v Anubis would be pretty cool though, right?

That’s why the Egyptian gods make for such an interesting prospect – they are markedly different from the Greek and Norse gods. Not only would the sweltering desert terrain of Egypt be a huge contrast to the wintry climes of Asgard and the other frosty realms, the gods themselves offer massive design opportunities. The way God of War has interpreted different gods so far has been genius, whether that be Loki-Atreus connection, the mysterious Stranger, or the thick, bodybuilding fat of Thor – but Egypt gives them so many more opportunities.

God of War Ragnarok End Norse Saga

Sekhmet is the goddess of war, and therefore closely linked to Kratos himself – but she’s also the god of healing, in a huge contrast to Kratos. Oh, also? She has a cat face. Amon, probably the closest thing the Ancient Egyptians have to Zeus, would also surely feature. Less dominating than Zeus or Odin, Egyptian godhood was more collaborative, again offering a new perspective for the games to explore.

Then of course there’s Ra, the falcon headed god who created several other gods, as well as merging with an absorbing many. It’s a bird that rules the sun and the world and combines himself with gods – imagine what Santa Monica could do with that? Probably make him Black and watch all the chuds wet the bed, but beyond that, Kratos versus Ra could be an entire saga in itself. Amon, the King of the Gods? He became Amun-Ra later in the mythology, precisely because Ra merged with him.

God of War can go anywhere in history next… so long as that era has god, I guess. Ancient Egypt feels almost too obvious, but after the Greek and Norse gods, it seems as though going for obvious, well-known deities is a strategy that has worked – especially when the games themselves take a unique look at the layered mythology that has been in place for thousands of years. Egypt is the front runner, and Santa Monica are well placed to bring these classic myths to life in vibrant new ways.

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Stacey Henley (766 Articles Published)

Stacey Henley is an editor for TheGamer, and can often be found journeying to the edge of the Earth, but only in video games. Find her on Twitter @FiveTacey

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